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Info for New Parents


GCSE Information

Friends of Forest Hill

Home Learning

Parent Volunteers

Useful Links

Frequently Asked Questions

Prospective Parents


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What is the catchment area for Forest Hill School?

Forest Hill School does not have a defined catchment area. The area that the school serves is determined by the admission criteria and where the children who are admitted come from.

This area changes from year to year depending on the applications received. Single sex schools tend to serve a larger area as they are only available to half the Year 6 population.

Click here to see which primary schools our current Year 7 cohort attended. 

Can students cycle to school?

If a student wishes to cycle to school, parents should put in a written request to the Head of Year. If the request is granted, the cycle must be in a safe condition and an approved helmet must be worn at all times.

Bikes and student safety will be the ultimate responsibility of the parents. Boys must provide a suitable strong padlock and leave bikes only in the designated student cycle racks.

The school will not accept any responsibility for loss or damage to bicycles.

Students are not permitted to bring skateboards, roller-skates, scooters or e-scooters to school. These items are banned and will be confiscated if brought in.

What clubs are there for students?

We offer students a wide range of extracurricular activities that take place at lunchtime and after school. The activities vary from term to term but may include art, chess, dance, debating and reading as well as a variety of sport and music clubs.

Click here to see the current enrichment timetable.

Which languages do students study?

All students in Key Stage 3 (Years 7, 8 and 9) study either French, German or Spanish with a specialist teacher over three periods a week in Year 7, then two periods a week in Years 8 and 9. Students will develop skills in listening, speaking, reading and writing in the language they are learning.

Are students taught in sets?

When they first join the school in Year 7, students are taught in mixed ability groups until they have settled in and got to know their peers. They are then they placed in sets for Maths and Science. In English, Modern Foreign Languages, History and Geography, students are taught in mixed ability classes.

Those students with the most need form an Explorer group and are taught a specialised curriculum, separately from their peers.

How much homework do students get?

In Year 7, students will receive homework from five subjects each week – English, Maths, Science, History and Languages plus a Reading homework. Once a fortnight, they will receive homework for Geography, Computer Science and Religious Education. Each homework should take a minimum of 30 minutes. Art/DT homework is research and project based and designed to be ongoing.

In Years 8 and 9, Geography homework is set weekly, and the overall volume of homework increases to ensure that by Year 10 the students are ready for the homework expectations of the GCSE courses.

PE, Dance, Music and Drama do not routinely set homework at Key Stage 3.

Is there bullying at Forest Hill School?

All students and staff know that bullying is unacceptable and will not be tolerated. Staff are aware that if incidents of bullying between students do take place, it will most likely be in the absence of adults. We are therefore very clear with students about the need to tell adults when incidents of bullying occur so that we can deal with them promptly and effectively. 

Restorative approaches will be used as one way of resolving incidents of bullying. This process includes developing agreed ways forward and identifying support needed for both the person or people experiencing bullying and those exhibiting bullying behaviour. 

More specialist support e.g. circle of friends, counselling or external support will be made available, where appropriate, to both those on the receiving end of bullying and those exhibiting bullying behaviour. 

Can students bring mobile phones to school?

Students are forbidden to bring mobile phones into school – except in special circumstances and by prior written agreement between their parents and the Head of Year. In these circumstances they should be handed in to Student Services before school and collected at the end of the school day. There are no circumstances in which students are allowed to have their phones in their possession during the school day.

All phones seen or heard in school will be confiscated and only returned to the parent/carer. 

How many FHS students stay on for Sixth Form?

We have a highly successful joint Sixth Form provision with Sydenham School for male and female students – SFH6. All Year 11 students attending the Forest Hill and Sydenham Schools are able to apply for places at SFH6 but will be required to meet the entry requirements for the courses they wish to study.

Approximately 60% of Year 11 students stay on for Sixth Form.

Where do students go after Sixth Form?

Year on year, we are delighted with the A Level results achieved by our students and there are always a number of impressive individual performances and students progressing to Oxbridge and elite Russell Group universities as well as other prestigious institutions.

Click to view our most recent Leavers’ Destinations.

How can parents/carers get involved with the school?

The Friends of Forest Hill is the school’s Parent Teacher Association (PTA). It is run by parent and carer volunteers from across the year groups who work closely with school staff to raise funds and support events for the school and school community. They always need more volunteers to help drive events and fundraising ideas and really do want everyone to get involved. Click here for more information.

The Forest Hill School Parents’ Forum is an informal group where parents can share ideas, views and concerns, and make suggestions for improvement. The forum takes place once a term with the aim of working together to improve the education provided for the students; sharing information, knowledge and skills; and further improving communications between parents/carers and staff/governors.

How does the school communicate with parents?

Our weekly bulletin keeps parents up-to-date and informed about all the events going on at school. The bulletin is sent via email to all parents and staff every Friday during term time. It also includes a weekly video message from the Headteacher.

FHS News, our school newsletter, is issued at the end of each half term, and is filled with the latest news, stories and photos of what has been happening at Forest Hill School. Copies are emailed to parents and can be downloaded from the school website.

Forest Hill School uses official Facebook and Twitter accounts to engage in social media with the school and wider online community. The accounts are monitored by members of staff and are intended to promote the fantastic things that happen at the school throughout the year.

New/Current Parents


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How do I report a student’s absence from school?

Student absence can be reported via email ( or telephone. We have a dedicated 365/24/7 automated system for recording absence (020 8613 8468) or you can select Option 1 through the main switchboard (020 8699 9343). It is vital in all cases that you always include the student’s full name and tutor group so his register mark can be correctly allocated. Absence must be notified as early as possible on the first day, and must be done on a daily basis until a student returns to school.

What happens if a student is late for school?

If a student arrives after the student gate has closed, he must enter via the late gate on Dacres Road, where he will be issued a detention by the Attendance Officer. He should then join his tutor group or lesson as quickly as possible.

What equipment should students bring to school?

It is expected that students have a clearly named pencil case containing the following essential equipment at all times: 2 x black or blue pens; 1 x green pen; pencils; a ruler; and calculator. It also useful to have colouring pencils, an eraser, a glue stick; and a pencil sharpener. Replacement pens, pencils, rulers, erasers can all be purchased from Student Services, which is open at break times and lunch times. Students should also bring a filled water bottle to school each day.

How do students pay for school meals?

We operate a cashless catering system for all food and drink purchases, which uses biometrics (fingertip identification). The thumbprint scan allows students to purchase food and drinks from the atrium or the snack shacks, subject to funds available on their ParentPay account. ParentPay accounts can be easily topped up online by debit or credit card, or in cash through PayPoint stores. All parents are issued with a unique username and password upon joining Forest Hill School.

Students who are in receipt of free school meals have their account credited daily with the current allowance.

What happens if a student has a detention after school?

Daily detentions of between 20 minutes and 1 hour are run after school from 3.00pm. Shorter detentions of up to 30 minutes are served on the same day that they are set – without notice. Longer detentions of 30+ minutes will be set on the following day and parents and carers will be informed by email on the day their child is to sit the detention.

Where it is necessary for students to sit a longer detention – up to one hour – on the same day, i.e. for serious incidents or persistent disruption we endeavor to ensure that parents are informed by telephone or email.

Who can I speak to about a student’s progress?

We are committed to formally providing detailed and robust information about our students three times a year. This takes the form of an Autumn Progress Report and Academic Review Day; a Spring Progress Report and Parents’ Evening; and a Summer Term Certificate of Progress.

Outside of this formal feedback, staff can be contacted via email using the following email address format:

If you are not sure who it is best to speak to, please contact your son’s Head of Year who will direct your query to the most appropriate member of staff.